What are your family holiday plans for 2018?
Travelling with children can be an adventure in itself, and while the world is your oyster for travel destinations, in order to be able to fully relax, a family-friendly hotel is a must. Here’s some around-the-world holiday inspo where you can find family friendly hotels for even the smallest family member’s needs – stress-free school holiday planning starts now!
Why you’ll want to visit: Greece’s largest island, Crete is a great family holiday destination, with vast sandy beaches, sensational views and plenty of adventure to be had – from taking snorkeling and boat trips to exploring caves and castles. The island boasts one of the best climates in Europe, with sunshine throughout much of the year, as well as an array of outstanding restaurants.
Where to stay: DOMES OF ELOUNDA
Domes of Elounda comes with its own olive-lined stretch of beach and a choice of five swimming pools – the two saltwater pools are over-16’s only, but all of the freshwater options welcome children, with one being exclusively for the little ones. To keep kiddos happy: a kids’ club, water-based activities and a child-friendly menu. While parents can enjoy adults only alfresco dining in the evening, the perfect excuse for making the most of the hotel’s babysitting to get some much-needed alone time. Tiny versions of the luxurious bathrobes and slippers are provided, so your little ones will feel right at home (and your family photos will look suitably adorable).
Pigeon Bay, New Zealand
Why you’ll want to visit: With its picturesque setting amidst pristine waters and luscious green hills, Pigeon Bay makes for an adventure filled family holiday. From kayaking and sailing to hilly hikes and bike rides along Pigeon Bay walkway, the area has a breezy, relaxed vibe, without compromising on luxury.
Where to stay: ANNANDALE
Annandale estate has four private villas, boasting pillow-strewn sea-facing terraces, open-air fire pits and heated swimming pools. And after a day of diving, kayaking, hiking or biking, you’ll be thankful for such restful spots. If you’re arriving with plenty of family members in tow, be sure to book Scrubby Bay, which can sleep up to 14 people and has its own stretch of pebbled beach. Annandale is very secluded – the easiest way to arrive is by helicopter, no less, and there is little in the way of cell phone reception – enabling family bonding in its purest form.
Why you’ll want to visit: Exuding the rustic charm that Italy is known for, Puglia is a vibrant coastal region, with a rocky coastline and endless white beaches. The area is perfect for families, particularly during the summer months, when a lot of the festive concerts and markets take place.
Where to stay: BORGO EGNAZIA
This stately hotel boasts a golf course, two beach clubs, four swimming pools, windsurfing, mozzarella-tasting and cooking classes, to name just a few distractions. For the ultimate in unwinding, grown-ups can take advantage of the crèche and kids club and head to the 200sq m spa, where treatments are inspired by local traditions – a Roman bath ritual with an Apuglian pink-salt scrub and Tarantism (an ancient Apuglian therapeutic ritual for women involving music).
Why you’ll want to visit: With its reputation as a romantic getaway, the Maldives may not be the first destination that springs to mind when you think ‘family-friendly’… but with its gentle sea, endless water sports and some of the most incredible resorts with top kids’ clubs, there’s no reason why the Maldives shouldn’t be on your family vacation bucket list.
Where to stay: SONEVA JANI
With a dedicated kids club, an endless list of activities, and ice-cream, chocolate and cheese rooms, Soneva Jani welcomes kids with open arms. Luxurious and a little playful, each one of the palatial villas in the resort is complete with its own full-sized private pool – some even have water slides so you can splash straight into the lagoon.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Why you’ll want to visit: Riviera Maya offers the perfect blend of high-end hotels, world-class dining options, stunning beaches, some of the world’s best golf courses and spas and wealth of activities and attractions for children, making it an all-round winner when it comes to planning a family getaway.
Where to stay: HOTEL ESENCIA
Sat on a stretch of the Mayan Riviera’s most beautiful beach, Hotel Esencia is fit for royalty – especially the littlest royals! There are multi-lingual nannies, a family-sized pool and a host of aquatic activities on offer. The resort’s private two-story, two-bedroom garden cottages are the perfect size for a whole-brood holiday, and come complete with their own full-sized swimming pool, multimedia room, bar and chef.
With Mr & Mrs Smith, you’ll enjoy a best-price guarantee and a SmithExtra (from massages to a cold bottle of bubbly on arrival at every hotel). mrandmrssmith.com.